"Figuring out my life; assessing my strengths and weaknesses; trying to find a way to be more than the sum of my parts."
Lindenwold, NJ, USA
female, age 34
" I know there's a hell: I work in retail."
Defenders of Wildlife,
Trees for Life Foundation,
Compassion for Camden,
National Anti Vivisection Society,
Indigenous Peoples Rights,
Native American Rights,
Zero Population G
Strong Opinions Ahead (with visual aides)
Laugh! Have a sense of humor! We'll all lose our minds if we take everything too seriously!
Environmentalists, animal welfare activists, advocates for social reform, and anyone trying to change the world: We must not succumb to knee-jerk reactions. Our rivals are those that either commit, ignore, or profit from harm done to those weaker than they, and they are incessantly civilized about it; we must be their equal in every way except who we fight for. We must be composed, respectable and mature. Do not give them any wood with which to fuel their fire. This is the way to fight, and win. You are the way people see you. If you are petty, whiny, defensive, uninformed, unkempt, or unsure, you will be made an example of to the general public, thus casting your cause in a negative light, and the bad guys will win.
World hunger exists because: (1) colonialism, and later subtle monopoly capitalism, dispossessed hundreds of millions of people from their land; the current owners are the new plantation managers producing for the mother countries; (2) the low-paid undeveloped countries sell to the highly paid developed countries because there is no local market [because the low-paid people do not have enough to pay] … and (3) the current Third World land owners, producing for the First World, are appendages to the industrialized world, stripping all natural wealth from the land to produce food, lumber, and other products for wealthy nations. This system is largely kept in place by underpaying the defeated colonial societies for the real value of their labor and resources, leaving them no choice but to continue to sell their natural wealth to the over-paid industrial societies that overwhelmed them.
To eliminate hunger: (1) the dispossessed, weak, individualized people must be protected from the organized and legally protected multinational corporations; (2) there must be managed trade to protect both the Third World and the developed world, so the dispossessed can reclaim use of their land; (3) the currently defeated people can then produce the more labor-intensive, high-protein/high-calorie crops that contain all eight (or nine) essential amino acids; and (4) those societies must adapt dietary patterns so that vegetables, grains, and fruits are consumed in the proper amino acid combinations, with small amounts of meat or fish for flavor. With similar dietary adjustments among the wealthy, there would be enough food for everyone.
— J.W. Smith, The World’s Wasted Wealth 2, Institute for Economic Democracy, 1994
[A Naturalist is] Someone who is willing to go to nature without preconcieveing a problem to work out but is willing to respond to events as they happen and file each in the appropriate place in the memory bank. If you start as a naturalist, you don't start with a bank account full of questions and theorems and beliefs. You just pick things up because they are there and you're wondering what they're all about...That's why you pick up a beetle when you're three years [old] and you put it in your mouth. That's your first experiment.
AN UNORTHODOX PROTOCOL FOR CASTING A MEANINGFUL VOTE:
By Gregory W. Graffin
1. Determine whether you care about the general well-being of society (If you do not, skip to step 7, if you do, continue on)
2. Determine whether you are a privileged citizen (If you are not, then proceed to step number 6, if you are, read steps 3, 4, and 5 only)
3. Examine not how well you will fare if a given issue is voted into law, but how poorly the under-privileged will suffer (no matter which laws pass a vote or who is voted into office, you will probably always still be better off than the people you fear you'll become, namely the under-privileged).
4. Create an ideological balance-sheet that details how much better you will fare, as a percentage of your current comfort level, versus how much worse the under-privileged will drop in their current comfort level (for instance, as a very banal example, a mere 2% drop in your current income, could provide a tremendous relative rise in an under-privileged household's income).
5. Vote for the issue or candidate that promises to balance the disparity between the privileged and the under-privileged classes, even if it doesn't make you richer or if it provides a small compromise in your day-to-day comfort.
6. Vote for the issue or the candidate who will make your life better.
7. Abstain from voting
PUNK IS: the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experiences of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions.
PUNK IS: a movement that serves to refute social attitudes that have been perpetuated through willful ignorance of human nature.
PUNK IS: a process of questioning and commitment to understanding that results in self-progress, and through repetition, flowers into social evolution.
PUNK IS: a belief that this world is what we make of it, truth comes from our understanding of the way things are, not from the blind adherence to prescriptions about the way things should be.
PUNK IS: the constant struggle against fear of social repercussions.
"When a million people show up in Washington D.C. and demand to be heard, it is a powerful, moving expression of what it means to be human, social and conscious. Email effectively filters us from both sociality and consciousness, and that is why it fails as a means of protest. There is nothing dangerous about it either. What can the unruly "e-mob" do if their "e-cause" is not enacted? Send out more "e-hate- mail"? (Stop it you're scaring me!). But a huge throng, collected in one place is dangerous and moving. It says we have made huge errors in our policies. So huge in fact that these people were angry enough to leave the comfort and privacy of their homes to allow their faces to be seen, and voices to be heard. And if they are ignored, there will be trouble."
"Why has the conservation movement not had greater impact? The answer lies with the people involved with it. To put it bluntly, they are too gentle and too polite. They have played safe. They have concentrated on short-term tactics instead of calmly considering long term strategies. They have played on the emotions of rich urbanites who are remote from the real issues in order to raise funds. They have done this by focusing on the plight of the most appealing animal failures. Nothing produces such a glow of human kindness (or, if one is being unpleasantly objective, of smug superiority) as offering help to an attractive failure. To gain aid, an animal should be cuddly, attactively coloured, extremely rare, or better still, all three. As top losers, giant pandas are obvious winners. Successful rodents need not apply. The first rule of conservation, therefore, became the protection of nice animals on the verge of extinction; the nasty ones could look after themselves...time and again, conservationists pull their efforts into assisting species on the verge of extinction. These animals have become the stars of the conservation show, and converted it into an elitist game.
What is missing is an underlying philosophy that can guide the movement...the shifting of public opinion away from an entrenched attitude. That attitude is is rooted in the ancient totem animals and also good and evil animals of medieval times. It embodies the idea that some animals are nice and others are nasty...What the conservation movement has failed to grasp is that each animal has to be valued for what it is, not what it is worth...Until it is understood that the common house sparrow is as wonderful and mysterious as the rarest bird of paradise, there will be little hope for the future.
~Desmond Morris, from "The Animal Contract"
"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies." ~Albert Schweitzer
"I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art."~Kahlil Gibran
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it."
"Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research."~George Bernard Shaw
"What is it that should trace the insuperable line?...The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?"~Jeremy Bentham
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."~Edmund Burke
"In the end, we conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."~Baba Dioum
To see a World in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wild flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
"Life doesn't make any sense, and we all pretend it does. Comedy's job is to point out that it doesn't make any sense, and that it doesn't make much difference anyway."
"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."
"Anyone who tries to improve the lives of animals invariably runs into criticism from those who think that such efforts are misplaced in a world of human suffering." ~Jane Goodall
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